UPDATE on Benghazi Six -- Sentences overturned, retrial granted on Christmas Day
December 25, 2005 -- Today CNN posted an unsigned AP story reporting that the Libyan Supreme Court had overturned the death sentences imposed on five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian physician convicted of intentionally infecting hundreds of hospitalized Libyan children with the HIV virus. The court "accepted" the appeal of the health care workers, who had argued that their confessions were the result of torture, and ordered a retrial, though it was not clear when that would occur.
The AP piece also reported that several days earlier, Bulgaria, the European Union, Britain and the United States had announced the formation of an NGO to help the families of the infected children, at least 50 of whom are reported to have died. International health experts had concluded that the tragic infections were a result of poor sanitary conditions at the hospital in Benghazi.
The Center urges supporters to continue sending polite, respectful letters to the Libyan authorities that express sympathy for the plight of the infected children and appreciation for the overturning of the sentences, but that still call for the immediate release of the health workers. We thank everyone who has participated so far, and urge everyone to stay tuned for further developments.
See the AP/CNN piece at: http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/12/25/libya.hiv.ap/